Policies & Guidelines


Publication Ethics

The Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review (AESSR) follows the editorial guidelines and policies of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in letter and spirit and operates according to HEC guidelines and policies.

Editors and Referees

Our editors and referees are required to declare any conflict of interest related to the manuscript they are requested to evaluate. To ensure transparent double-blind peer-review, the identities of authors are not disclosed to referees, and vice versa. Manuscript submission by the editor/associate editor or by any member of the editorial board is not allowed as per HEC policy guidelines for the research journals. 


Authors are expected to adopt the general ethical standards in their research and writing, ensuring that:

  • The submitted work or any of its essential content has not been previously published in a refereed journal and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. To ensure this, the editors screen out the submissions using the anti-plagiarism software, i.e. Turnitin.com.
  • Published relevant material/work referred by the authors in their research must be properly cited as per APA formatting guidelines.
  • Mentioning and acknowledging the sources of funding and significant help is the ethical obligation of the authors. It must be explicitly mentioned under the heading of ‘Compliance with the Ethical Standards’ at the end of the manuscript.
  • Obtaining consent from the parties with vested interests is the ethical responsibility of the authors.

If a published paper or its essential content is found to have been published before or if any other unethical conduct by the authors is verified, the journal will take one or more of the following actions:

  • Publish a notice
  • Retract the paper
  • Prevent the corresponding author from publishing in AESSR
  • Report the impropriety to the corresponding author, co-authors, employer, head of the department (HOD), funding body, and HEC.


AESSR publishes corrections only when significant errors arise from author errors (Corrigenda) or editorial mistakes (Errata). If there is a serious complaint about a journal’s own procedures, the Chief Editor will confer with the corresponding author and any relevant member of the editorial board to resolve the problem. The advisory board of AESSR will be consulted if further guidance is required, and if the above procedures prove unacceptable, the matter will be referred for outside adjudication as per COPE guidelines.


Plagiarism Screening

The Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review (AESSR) is published by the International Research and Publishing Academy that has a membership of Turnitin, an online tool to help the editors verify the originality of submitted manuscripts. All submitted manuscripts are scanned with Turnitin to calculate the similarity index or plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else works as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to salami-slicing, where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper.

Plagiarism Policy of AESSR

  • AESSR is committed to promoting and disseminating original research work relating to the field of education and social studies.
  • Plagiarism in any form cannot be tolerated by AESSR at any stage as it shows unethical publishing behaviour.
  • All selected manuscripts will be screened for plagiarism by using Turnitin software.
  • The manuscript in which the plagiarism is detected is handled based on the extent of the plagiarism. A manuscript with less than a 19% similarity index can be accepted for publication.
  • If the manuscript has plagiarism < 19%, it will be given an ID and sent for the review process.
  • If the manuscript has plagiarism between 19-30%, it will be given an ID and sent back to the author for content revision.

In the case of suspected plagiarism in a published article:

  • A specific process is followed to manage a case of plagiarism. AESSR follows the guidelines contained in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowchart (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts).
  • The person who reported AESSR of the situation is informed about the process to be followed.
  • The articles are compared to check the degree of copying.
  • All editors of the AESSR, are informed and asked for their comments.
  • The corresponding author of the article in question is contacted with documentary evidence of the case of plagiarism and is asked for a response.

If the author(s) are found guilty of plagiarism

  • The editor of the journal in which the original plagiarized article was published and the authors of the plagiarized article are informed.
  • AESSR publishes an official retraction of the paper.
  • The online version of the AESSR article is withdrawn from the OJS host site, and AESSR will not publish any article by the author(s) concerned.


Peer-Review Policy

All AESSR manuscripts are reviewed through the double-blind peer-review process and the identities of the authors are kept confidential from the reviewers, and vice versa.

To make this possible, anonymous versions of the manuscript are sent to referees. Submitted papers are first considered by the AESSR editors after submission. Papers that do not fall within the scope of AESSR are desk-rejected. In addition, papers that fail to meet a minimum threshold for quality and originality are also rejected without being sent to the reviewers.

Papers passing through this initial editorial scrutiny are then typically sent out to referees (nationally and internationally. If one or more of these turn down the invitation to provide a review, other referees will subsequently be appointed. Normally, at least three authoritative reviews are required before the handling Editor can make a decision to accept, reject, or ask for a revise and resubmit of the submitted paper. Currently, approximately 50% of the manuscripts submitted to AESSR are desk-rejected, about 35% are rejected after peer review, and 15% are eventually accepted (most after being revised once if not twice). The editor is responsible for the final decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of articles. The editor's decision is final.

AESSR provides professional English editing services exclusively for the accepted manuscripts. These manuscripts are carefully scrutinized by our professional proofreaders, who help ensure the accuracy of the paper by resolving any problems with the language to conform to the international standards for journal publications.


Reviewer Guidelines

Peer review in all its form plays an important role in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. The process depends to a large extent on trust and requires that everyone involved behave responsibly and ethically. In the peer-review process, the role of peer reviewers is highly critical and inevitable; however, due to inadequate guidance, the peer reviewers are often unaware of their ethical obligations. Thus, the Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review (AESSR) follows the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers set out the basic principles and standards to which all peer reviewers should adhere during the double-blind peer-review process. It is hoped they will provide helpful guidance to researchers, be a reference for journals and editors in guiding their reviewers, or act as an educational resource for institutions in training their students and researchers.

Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere

Peer reviewers should: 

  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise prerequisite to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
  • respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal
  • not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
  • declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
  • not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations
  • be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making slanderous or derogatory personal comments
  • acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner
  • provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  • recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct


1- Before you begin

Before you accept or decline an invitation to review, consider the following questions:

  • Does the article match your area of expertise? Only accept if you feel you can provide a high-quality review.
  • Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you respond.
  • Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.
  • Find out more about the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

Respond to the invitation as soon as you can (even if it is to decline) – a delay in your decision slows down the review process and means more waiting for the author. If you do decline the invitation, it would be helpful if you could provide suggestions for alternative reviewers.

2- Managing your review

Confidential material

If you accept, you must treat the materials you receive as confidential documents. This means you can’t share them with anyone without prior authorization from the editor. Since peer review is confidential, you also must not share information about the review with anyone without permission from the editors and authors.

How to log in and access your review

Your review will be managed via AESSR’s Journal Managing System. To access the paper and deliver your review, click on the link in the invitation email you received, which will bring you to the submission/reviewing system.

Journal-specific instructions

When you write the review, make sure you familiarize yourself with any journal-specific guidelines (these will be noted in the journal’s guide for authors available on the journal’s homepage).

First, read the article. You might consider spot-checking major issues by choosing which section to read first. Below we offer some tips about handling specific parts of the paper.


If the manuscript you are reviewing is reporting an experiment, check the methods section first. The following cases are considered major flaws and should be flagged:

  • Unsound methodology
  • Discredited method
  • Missing processes are known to be influential on the area of reported research
  • A conclusion drawn in contradiction to the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript

For analytical papers, examine the sampling report, which is mandated in time-dependent studies. For qualitative research, make sure that systematic data analysis is presented and sufficient descriptive elements with relevant quotes from interviews are listed in addition to the author’s narrative.

Research data and visualizations

Once you are satisfied that the methodology is sufficiently robust, examine any data in the form of figures, tables, or images. Authors may add research data, including data visuals to their submission to enable readers to interact and engage more closely with their research after publication. Please be aware that links to data might; therefore, be present in the submission files. These items should also receive your attention during the peer review process. Manuscripts may also contain database identifiers or accession numbers (e.g. genes) to our database linking program.

Critical issues in research data, which are considered to be major flaws can be related to insufficient data points, statistically non-significant variations, and unclear data tables.

Ethical considerations

Experiments including patient or animal data should properly be documented. Most journals require ethical approval by the author’s host organization. Please check journal-specific guidelines for such cases (available from the journal’s homepage).


If you don’t spot any major flaws, take a break from the manuscript, giving yourself time to think. Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review, again make sure you familiarize yourself with any journal-specific guidelines (these will be noted in the journal’s guide for authors).

3- Structuring your review

Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. It will also aid the author and allow him/her to improve the manuscript. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any demeaning remarks or personal details including your name (unless the journal you are invited to review for employs open peer review).

Providing insights into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgement so that both editors and authors can fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data and evidence.

Your recommendation

When you make a recommendation, it is worth considering the categories the editor will likely use for classifying the article.

  • Accept Submission: The reviewer recommends the editor accept the submission without any revision
  • Revision Required: The reviewer recommends the editor accept the submission with minor revisions (figured out in Reviewing Form)
  • Resubmit for Review: The reviewer recommends major revision and would be happy to review the revised article (when the revised manuscript is submitted by the author/s). If you are recommending a revision, you must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is necessary.
  • Resubmit Elsewhere: The reviewer recommends the author that this journal is not a good fit for the submission.
  • Decline Submission: The reviewer recommends the editor not accept the submission.

Bear in mind that there will be an opportunity to direct separate comments to both the editor and author. Once you are ready to submit your report, follow the instructions in the email or visit our support centre if you encounter any difficulties.

The final decision

The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. Elsevier plays no part in this decision. The editor will weigh all views and may call for another opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision. The submission system provides reviewers with a notification of the final decision if the journal has opted into this function.

4- After your review

Do not forget that even after finalizing your review, you must treat the article and any linked files or data like confidential documents. This means you must not share them with anyone without prior authorization from the editor.

Finally, we take the opportunity to thank you sincerely on behalf of the editors and author(s) for the time you have taken to give your valuable input to the article.


Publication Malpractice Statement

The Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review (AESSR) and its publisher, International Research and Publishing Academy (iRAPA) follow the ethical guidelines for publication outlined by the COPE (Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishersas well as Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. In view of that, the authors, the reviewers, and the editors are expected to follow the best-practice guidelines.


Open Access Statement

This is an open-access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.


Open Access License

The published research work by this journal is licensed under:
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)